Topic of the Week #2

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Meet Amy Tuckett. Amy is the Communications Coordinator for the Manitoba Metis Federation, as well as the Metis Economic Development Organization. I chose to do a telephone interview with Amy for this assignment, as she is part of the reason I am here today. Amy and I met many years ago, and were on the same path. Amy was a massage therapist, and I, social services worker. We were both doing jobs that we knew we weren’t going to sustain, and we both needed a change. Three years ago, my dear friend Amy decided to go back to school and pursue her dream to take Creative Communications at Red River College. For me, this lit a small flame, an inspiration that continued to burn slowly until an opportunity was able to present itself.

Last year I started into the PR and Marketing Management diploma program, and Amy was heading into her last year of Cre-Comm. It was great to see what she was going through, so I could anticipate what was to come. During her second year at Red River, Amy was required to do an IPP (Individual Professional Project), which would help hone in on the skills she learnt over the past two years. This is where “Hell on Heels” was born.

 How was Hell on Heels Conceived?

I started out thinking I was going to do a documentary on the health problems that arise from wearing high heeled shoes. The focus is on mandatory heel height policies for female workers in restaurants, and why government needs to develop legislation to protect the female worker.

What were your initial objectives, and how did they change as the campaign progressed?

My initial objective was to create a documentary and pass my class (laughs Amy). No, I wanted to show the health risks associated with high heeled shoes. As a massage therapist, I often treated patients with issues directly related to high heels. However, I quickly realized that it was more of an awareness campaign, and that I wanted to start a conversation about the issue of mandatory heel heights for female workers in the restaurant industry. My main objective was to educate, but now it is to create change. This shift in campaign direction affected my messaging, and it became more than educating people; I wanted to create change.

Can you describe the strategies and tactics behind the campaign?

I wanted to target young women, and let them know that they don’t have to do this. There is a culture of women who are scared to speak about the issue because they’re afraid of losing their jobs. Many of the women who are speaking up about the mandatory heel heights are women who knew they are leaving the industry and don’t fear the repercussions. I started a Facebook Page, as well as a Blog, which let people know about the campaign. Once it generated some interest, the newspapers picked up on the press releases. I also did some targeted pitches to journalists I knew had interest in the issue. My panel and documentary release night coincided with the news releases and my panel night sold out in under an hour.

What’s next with the campaign?

Within the next few months I am launching into the second part of the campaign. This is where I am going to meet with key people in politics, such as Jennifer Howard, to discuss getting legislation towards banning mandatory heel heights.

What have you taken away from this experience so far?

BE DETERMINED. Keep on it even when you want to give up. Stick to your key message, and know who you are pitching it to. Need to have consistent messaging or it won’t get off the ground.

Any advice for your old pal Carley?

Do what you believe in. If you have passion for something, it shows. People want to get behind things they are passionate about. Have the guts to take a stand and be a voice. Be responsible for yourself.

Amy’s words resonate with me as I write this blog.

Do what you believe in.

If you have passion, it shows.

Have the guts to take a stand and be a voice.

Be responsible for yourself. 

Simple words, harder application.

Do you have any words of advice for me as I head into my career?

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Categories: PR Fundamentals II | Tags: | Leave a comment

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